Grammys 2021: Best Moments of the Night
From Harry Styles' feather boa to Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B's "WAP" performance, these are the moments we can't stop talking about
Harry Styles’ Feather Boa
Our first glimpse at the “Watermelon Sugar” singer set the sartorial stage for the night, tickling our fancy and surely setting a 2021 trend with a green — and later, purple — feather boa.
When Lizzo Was 100% That B—
The “Good as Hell” singer brought her signature enthusiasm to the stage as she stepped out to announce the nominees for best new artist — and make her own return to the spotlight. “B— I’m back!” she playfully shouted out before realizing she’d cursed on live TV, prompting laughter and cheers from the audience.
When Megan Thee Stallion Couldn’t Believe She’d Won
Hot Girl Meg’s speechless reaction to winning best new artist was an early highlight of the night, with the Houston rapper frozen in seemingly shocked disbelief before making her way to the stage, where she thanked God and her late mom in her emotional acceptance speech. The “Savage” singer is the first female hip-hop artist to take home the award since Lauryn Hill in 1999.
Later, when she won best rap performance with Beyoncé for "Savage," she reacted similarly, and spent her time on stage lavishing praise on her collaborator and idol.
DaBaby’s Choral Remix of 'Rockstar'
Decked out in diamonds and Chanel brooches, the rapper reminded the audience of what a “Rockstar” he truly is with an epic and unexpected rendition of his chart-topping song featuring an orchestral intro, violinist and an attention-getting live choir, which he rapped over.
Dua Lipa’s Costume Changes
The “Don’t Start Now” singer sizzled onstage in a number of bedazzled purple ‘fits, stripping down to a sparkling two-piece as she sang and danced along to her hits “Levitating” and “Don’t Start Now” — and making us more eager than ever for that first night when we can safely hit the dance floor once again.
Taylor Swift’s Folklore Forest
All I can say is I was enchanted … to watch this Taylor Swift medley. Barefoot and twirling across the stage, Swift’s did not disappoint with her highly anticipated performance. Joined by her collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, the “Evermore” singer transformed the set into an enchanted forest — surprisingly, with no cardigans in sight.
Spotlighting Local Music Venues
This year, the Grammys spotlighted a handful of local independent music venues — such as L.A.’s iconic Troubadour and N.Y.C.’s historic Apollo Theater — which have struggled due to the impact of the pandemic, bringing their employees to the ceremony virtually and in-person to present the nominees with their awards.
The 2021 In Memoriam Tributes
The annual tribute honors those in the music industry who have passed away over the last year — a number that surpassed 1,000 amid the deadly ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the video segment featured a number of them, host Trevor Noah directed fans to the Grammy website for a full list of those in the industry who we lost.
The segment also featured artists performing iconic songs as tribute to some of the late legends, including Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak's version of Little Richard’s "Good Golly, Miss Molly"; Lionel Richie singing longtime pal Kenny Rogers' "Lay Down Beside Me"; Brandi Carlile performing John Prine’s "I Remember Everything"; and Brittany Howard and Chris Martin’s version of Gerry Marsden’s "You'll Never Walk Alone.”
Beyoncé & JAY-Z’s Surprise Appearance
The power couple snuck in after the show began, despite a statement earlier this week from Recording Academy interim chief executive Harvey Mason Jr. that the music icon wouldn’t be making a surprise appearance.
Bey arrived seemingly right in time to accept the award for best rap song with Megan Thee Stallion for "Savage."
'WAP' Takes the Cake
If it existed, the trophy for the night’s most jaw-dropping moment would've gone to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion for their provocative performance of “WAP,” which featured the two rappers getting into a brief, steamy entanglement while dancing on an enormous bed.
Lil Baby’s Performance Honoring the Black Lives Matter Movement
The Atlanta native’s powerful performance honored Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man whose murder by police in a Wendy’s parking lot last summer sparked a new wave of national protests. The performance featured activists Tamika Mallory, who directly called on President Joe Biden for action and accountability in the fight for Black lives, as well as rapper and activist Killer Mike, and recreated scenes of protest from last summer’s Black Lives Matter marches.
Beyoncé Makes History with Her 28th Grammy Win
Beyoncé appeared to tear up as it was announced that she had made history as the most decorated female artist of all time with 28 awards, after being honored with best R&B performance for “Black Parade.” In an emotional speech, she gave a shoutout to her twins Rumi and Sir as well as daughter Blue Ivy, congratulating the latter on winning her first Grammy this year, as well. If that's not a mother-daughter duo for the ages, we don't know what is!
BTS Taking it to the Rooftop
We’d like to scream our love for BTS from the rooftops — but watching them serenade us with their mega-hit “Dynamite” from up there will work instead. The 7-piece K-Pop sensation, who were nominated for best pop duo/group, showed off their famous choreography while making Grammys history with their performance as the first K-Pop act to take the stage. And by “the stage,” we mean a full recreation of the L.A. set in Seoul, Korea.